Domestic Violence Crisis Center

aka DVCC   |   Stamford, CT   |  www.dvccct.org

Mission

DVCC’s mission is to provide effective services, support and education for the prevention and elimination of domestic violence across the Connecticut communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Weston, Westport, Weston, Wilton, and beyond.

Ruling year info

1983

Executive Director

Suzanne Adam

Main address

1111 Summer Street 2nd floor

Stamford, CT 06901 USA

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Formerly known as

Women's Crisis Center

EIN

06-1057356

NTEE code info

Family Violence Shelters and Services (P43)

Hot Line, Crisis Intervention (F40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Housing and Financial Advocacy

DVCC's Housing & Financial Advocacy program provides information and counseling to victims of financial abuse to educate and empower these individuals on their journey to safety and healing. Economic empowerment involves building personal knowledge and skills to manage money and use financial service products to create healthy, sustainable financial futures. The program covers implementing budget strategies, income increase and expense reduction strategies, general credit counseling, establishing affordable debt repayment plans, and establishing short- and long-term SMART financial and savings goals. Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness among women and children in the US. Advocates also work to connect victims with resources to find permanent, safe, and affordable housing. Advocates work with clients through one-on-one sessions, support groups, and workshop settings with community partners.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Low-income people
Victims of crime and abuse

DVCC offers criminal and civil legal advocacy within the court system, including helping victims obtain orders of protection. Legal Advocates are present at arraignments and domestic criminal hearings to advocate for victims. We provide one-on-one legal consultations to assist victims with family legal issues, including child support, custody, alimony and divorce.

Population(s) Served
Low-income people
Immigrants
Victims of crime and abuse

The Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC), believes the prevention of violence in our society begins with the education of children. Our programs focus on peaceful conflict resolution; recognizing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships; and recognizing and reducing aggression, bullying, harassment, and intolerance. PeaceWorks teaches empathy, tolerance, self-awareness and respect towards all.

PeaceWorks professional staff has been providing prevention education in classroom, afterschool and parent education programs throughout the community for over 30 years. PeaceWorks materials are developed in collaboration with several highly regarded educational organizations, including The Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, The University of Connecticut’s NEAG School of Education, The Family Violence Prevention Fund, Educators for Social Responsibility and The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Curriculum. We are con

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children
Preteens

DVCC provides individual and group counseling for adults and children who have been impacted by domestic violence. This program aims to help individuals understand the effects of trauma, identify options and goals, learn coping skills, and develop safety plans. Our counseling staff is multilingual and multicultural. DVCC's group counseling fosters a supportive environment that helps to lessen feelings of isolation. A dedicated Youth and Family counselor is uniquely qualified to address the needs of children and adolescents who have experienced intimate partner violence as primary or secondary victims.

Population(s) Served
Victims of crime and abuse
Low-income people
Adults
Children and youth

DVCC provides 24 hour crisis intervention to clients. Certified domestic violence counselors are available 24/7 via phone or text through our hotline. In addition, DVCC's Lethality Assessment Program (LAP). The LAP program is an innovative partnership with law enforcement to implement nationally recognized risk assessment strategies. Trained police on the scene of a domestic violence incident use a specialized lethality assessment instrument to assess a victim’s risk for serious injury or death and can then immediately link those at greatest risk to a DVCC advocate for support and safety information.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Victims of crime and abuse

Safe houses offer safe, temporary housing and on-site access to all DVCC services. DVCC operates two safe houses one in Stamford and one in Norwalk.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Homeless people
Low-income people
Victims of crime and abuse

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients reporting increased knowledge after educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Prevention Education

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

DVCC seeks to provide comprehensive services to individuals and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence. Our overall goal is to enable them to better understand the nature of abusive relationships and to utilize the tools and services that will allow them to safely exit or, in some cases, safely remain in those relationships.

It is also our goal to raise awareness within the communities we serve and to prevent domestic violence by providing young people with information and tools that help them recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and behaviors.

Lastly, we aim to influence systemic and policy changes that benefit victims of domestic violence.

DVCC directs its resources and expertise toward providing comprehensive services, community education, and advocacy at both the individual and systems level.

Our Court and Legal Project advocates for clients in court, and has also influenced significant changes to domestic violence laws in CT as they relate to criminal procedure and to housing and economic policies. Our Civil Legal Clinic helps DVCC clients receive assistance on civil matters from volunteer attorneys, and we helped to implement the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) in CT, which provides safety planning and services for victims who are screened as being at high risk for lethal violence.

DVCC's Medical Advocacy Project (MAP), the first of its kind in CT, not only responds to domestic violence victims in area hospitals, but also has developed comprehensive training programs for health care professionals in order to promote earlier identification of IPV victims through improved screening and to encourage referral of victims to appropriate sources.

DVCC's two SafeHouses are staffed 24/7, resulting in wrap-around services and support for residents. Our Counseling Advocates see up to 70 clients a week, as well as provide multiple support groups and workshops in English and Spanish.

Responding to the need for broader and more culturally-appropriate outreach within Fairfield County's Spanish-speaking communities, in 2011 DVCC launched EsperanzaCT, CT's first Spanish language website and 24-hour phone and online service center for Spanish-speaking victims of DV, providing them with immediate access to information and assistance in their native language.

SustainAbilityCT (iACT) focuses on economic solutions that drive employment, education and housing. Recognizing that economic stability is the most important predictor of an individual's ability to permanently exit an abusive relationship, DVCC created iACT to help victims achieve financial security through numerous resources, including financial education workshops, resume preparation, job search strategies, and connection to job training programs and affordable housing resources.

PeaceWorks, DVCC's education platform, provides tools to help young people learn ways to solve conflicts peacefully and to recognize and maintain healthy relationships. The interactive and age-appropriate programs for Pre-K to 12th grades also promote empathy, tolerance, self-awareness and respect towards all. Teen PeaceWorks recognizes the importance of teen leadership and advocacy. Teens in area high schools raise awareness about bullying, teen dating violence and the importance of healthy interpersonal relationships.

Through DVCC360, our commitment to research, advocacy, policy and partnerships, we keep current with best practices and up-to-date research in the areas that affect individuals impacted by DV. DVCC works to influence policy by advocating for laws that will benefit victims across the state and create permanent social change.

DVCC has recruited a highly professional staff with backgrounds in counseling, education, law, social work, public policy and communication. Over the past eight years, the agency has expanded staffing levels from 21 to 55 employees. Simultaneously, we have cultivated more than 30 new funding sources for DVCC, grown our cash assets by 120% and developed better investment strategies.

Since 2008, DVCC has not only significantly enhanced services that existed prior to that time, but has also created four brand new initiatives – the Medical Advocacy Project, EsperanzaCT, DVCC360 and SustainAbilityCT – as well as revamped the violence-prevention education program into the current PeaceWorks project.

Moreover, DVCC works in tandem with the police departments in the seven cities and towns we serve and has developed in excess of 200 professional collaborations and partnerships across government, legal, health, education, business and social service communities, thus improving and enhancing services and safety nets for our clients.

DVCC has made significant strides in multiple directions: establishing policies and programs that ensure we meet and assist victims where they are most likely to be found, such as courtrooms and hospitals; creating innovative programs such as EsperanzaCT, which provides specialized outreach to the Hispanic population, and SustainAbilityCT, which goes to the heart of why many victims can't leave abusive relationships and offers very specific and practical solutions; providing a Civil Legal Clinic to address the questions and concerns of our numerous clients who cannot afford private legal assistance; helping to implement the Lethality Assessment Program, which greatly enhances the safety of victims; influencing systemic changes in Connecticut to benefit victims of domestic violence; revamping our PeaceWorks project to reflect best practices and innovative programming.

However, we are very aware that we cannot “rest on our laurels", so to speak, for the simple fact that every year we continue to serve more than 3,000 individuals impacted by domestic violence. We believe that there is always some way to improve on our response to victims, some way to better ensure the accountability of abusers, and some way to better communicate the message that intimate partner violence amongst the most harmful and deadliest of crimes.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    DVCC provides free, confidential services and support for domestic violence victims within seven communities we serve: Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, Darien, Wilton, and Westport. Our services are multicultural and mulitlingual.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We recently used client feedback from surveys to launch a Black Women's Support Group within our counseling department.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Asking for feedback empowers survivors and allows us to provide a victim-centered approach to service provision. We believe that every survivor is the expert in understanding their own lives and unique circumstances. When we listen and take our lead from them, we provide more effective care.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Domestic Violence Crisis Center

Board of directors
as of 03/23/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Wendy Herrick

No Affiliation

Janill Sharma

Jonathan Atwood

David Stone

Harriet Dulaney

Billie Rosado

Vasso Gyftopoulos

Jennifer Leahy

Nicole Loiz

Bob Siegel

Lola White

Anush Yegyazarian

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/8/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/08/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.